An (Early) Morning in the Life: The Community Internship at Woolman

Danya Morris, Community Intern
Sunday, May 4, 2014

I don’t always wake up before 6 AM—but when I do, it’s probably Monday, when I make breakfast. Monday is special because we all try to show up and eat together. There are announcements, games, and appreciations, read out of the appreciation jar handcrafted by none other than Aria, a fellow community intern. All in all I’d say I have a great reason to be up before the sun (especially since I only have to do it once a week). This is what happened two Mondays ago—an ordinary Monday, the second to last of the semester.

Monday, April 21, 2014

5:30am: Wake up. Stumble out of bed and brush my teeth on the porch of my A-frame, marveling at all the yellow flowers that have appeared as if by magic in the last two days—they’re all over everything. I try not to get toothpaste on any flowers (with only marginal success), put on two sweatshirts and head up the hill to the dining hall.

5:41am: Interrupted by the quail (rushing intently about, as always). Look for a moment at the moon, still seated high in the lightening sky.

5:45am:  Reluctantly turn on the lights in the kitchen, squint a little, and start making breakfast. Whole wheat ginger pancakes today, with fried eggs and homemade ricotta cheese. Food processor not working again (or I’m not asking it politely enough, this early in the morning who can really tell?), so I chop candied ginger for what feels like forever and a day. It’s peaceful in the kitchen in the morning, though—it’s one of my favorite things, a space that’s usually so chaotic getting to rest a little—so I don’t really mind. I don’t like cooking with machines, anyway.

7:23am: Some students wander into the DH and start making coffee. We talk about their Peace Studies homework, a paper about different people from Assata Shakur’s autobiography. They sit in the kitchen and listen to Devil Makes Three with me while I scramble to finish frying the gluten-free vegan version of the pancakes while also not burning the ricotta, which isn’t setting as quickly as I might have hoped…

7:50am: 10-minute bell for Monday morning breakfast and homeroom. A student is leading it this week, so she rings the bell and sets up a sheet to collect announcements, fretting about the activity she’s planned to lead (it goes amazingly well, so she needn’t have worried). I set the last round of eggs on the griddle and shuttle some willing students in and out of the kitchen with pancakes and condiments. The ricotta looks surprisingly good, especially with some cinnamon sprinkled on top.

8:04am: We circle and hold a moment of silence before breakfast. Morning meeting takes off, and I hide in the pantry and drink coffee for a few minutes before sitting down to make the weekly food order.

9:10am: Walk to the office and call the local co-op to order our produce and cheese for the week. The order is uneventful, save a small mix up regarding the color of our potatoes. I hang up and head back to the kitchen to do inventory in the pantry and walk-in, then back to the office to order from our distributor. Camilla and Heather, two fellow community interns, are making burritos for lunch and I have a very hard time not sneaking some of the cheese they have painstakingly shredded as I pass through the kitchen. By now it’s close to lunch time, so I work on spreadsheets and do food research until the burrito bar is ready.

I’ll spend the afternoon first in the garden—it’s crunch time, and we’re bed shaping and planting today—then at student updates meeting, and then hanging out with one of my mentees on the couch in the dining hall.

All in all, a beautiful and typical (if I dare to call anything at Woolman typical…) Monday.

GINGER PANCAKES (adapted from the Joy of Cooking)

  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or gluten free flour)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (brown sugar or honey are awesome, I usually reduce the sugar by almost half)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted) or oil
  • 2 large eggs (vegan option: 2 tablespoons ground flax + 2 tablespoons water)
  • 1 healthy splash vanilla extract
  • two pinches (about a teaspoon) ground ginger
  • some cinnamon, allspice, and cloves (ground)
  • 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger

Mix the dry ingredients together (sifting optional). Make a well in the middle and pour in the wet ingredients, and the candied ginger. Mix well, and fry in a little more butter than you think is really necessary. Enjoy!

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